Happy Labour Day Weekend! As visions of Back to School dance through your heads, we hope you enjoy your mostly-clear-looking 3 days off, before going back to the grindstone Tuesday. Be sure to check the opening hours at your local brewery or ciderhouse, just in case they are taking a much-needed break Monday. Just in case, stock up/place your online orders now to avoid disappointment! Here are a few new and returning beer, ciders, and everything in between, to get you through the next week. And stay tuned all the way to the end for details on how you can win your way into a beer fest later this month. Cheers!
Half Cut Brewing has been slinging beer (and Detroit-style pies thanks to their taproom pals Coastline Pizza) from their Northside Fredericton taproom for just about a month now, and are ready to release their newest one-off beer. Joining the Charlie Horse Kolsch, Jackhammer APA, and Tickle Fight IPA is Moustache Ride. This 6.5% New England IPA is brimming with hops on both the tongue and nose with citrus and stone fruit taking centre stage. Straw in colour with the iconic hop-full haze, the pillowy head keeps all those volatile terpenes and fruity esters locked in until you’re ready to imbibe. This is a taproom draught exclusive, so you’ll have to head over to 67 Main Street at 4 PM for a Ride and a slab to kick off your long weekend.
Big week for the folks on the North Shore, as Tatamagouche kicks off the long weekend with a trio of releases. Returning is the Intertidal: Idaho Gem, their continued exploration of hop-feature IPA recipes. Planting itself firmly in the traditional American IPA category at 6.4% ABV, it stays true to that style with North American-grown Idaho Gem and Chinook hops (with assists with some other old school varieties). Layering berry and citrus on top of pine and resinous, thanks to the multiple cones added throughout the process, including both hot- and warm-temperature whirlpool additions (post-boil/pre-transfer), before two rounds of IG dry-hopping late and then after fermentation. Pale, wheat, chit, and oat malts from Horton Ridge Malt & Grain support the hops with a full mouthfeel without getting bogged down.
Switching gears completely is a pair of bottled releases months (years?) is the making. Starting from a blend of multi-month- and multi-barrel-aged Golden Sours (with a never-to-be-replicated amalgam of yeast and bacteria), it was then blended with many kilos of raspberry, strawberry, and dark cherry purees. The sugar introduced by the fruit kicked off another round of fermentation, with the Brettanomyces waking up and chewing through that, while giving off some more lovely berry notes of its own, as well as some light hay. The acidity from the bacteria keeps it zippy and clears the palate for a clean finish. Bottles of Monarch have been corked and caged for a while now, allowing them to condition and carb in the bottle, so we suggest grabbing a couple: one to enjoy now, and another one (or more) to try in a few months.
The second mixed fermentation sour from Tata this week is Iphias, a blend of older and new barrel-aged Golden Sours, which were combined and then conditioned with peach puree and ginger juice for a secondary fermentation period. Solid funk and barnyard from the oldest beer meld with the peach fruitiness and spice from the ginger, along with the young beer to soften the blend. This 6.3% ABV beauty has also been allowed to bottle condition for a few months, and with cork and cage, will keep for years. Cans and bottles of all three new releases are available in Tata’s retail store, as well as online for NS delivery and nationwide shipping.
Propeller’s 25th Anniversary year continues with another new release that sees the brewery exploring the area between truly low-alcohol (as defined by the gummint, anyway) and the 3 – 3.5% ABV range we used to call “sessionable.” Coming in at 2.5% is this new one “sub-sessionable”? That doesn’t sound right because it would be more sessionable, right? Maybe “super-sessionable”? Or you could just call it what Prop does, given that it’s a hop-forward beer with smooth mouthfeel and pleasant bitterness, and go with “Nano IPA.” Officially dubbed Big Tiny, it’s available now in 473ml cans from all Prop locations; look out for flavours of melon, grapefruit, and maybe even a soupçon of gooseberry. We’ll also remind you that Prop has cask nights at their Gottingen Street location every Friday starting at 6 PM where you’ll find a cask of one of their beers that’s usually undergone some sort of experimental addition. This week it’s their Prime Lager treated with watermelon and hibiscus. Head on down and enjoy one on their new patio!
The pride of Burnside and Antigonish, Spindrift Brewing, has two new releases to ring in September. First up is Soundtrack Peach and Apricot Sour. This kettle sour started with a base of Pilsner malt and malted wheat and saw additions of Magnum hops before fermenting on peach and apricot puree. Expect notes of tropical and stone fruit to compliment the tart character produced by the Lactobacillus. Soundtrack comes in at 5% ABV and 10 IBUs. Also out is a new spin on their flagship Toller lager, Toller Red. Taking inspiration from the German Rotbier style originating in Nuremberg, it sees the addition of Munich and Caramel Munich to the usual Pilsner malt, giving it a darker colour, some fruit character and a hint of caramel. Also hopped with Magnum, Toller Red comes in at a sessionable 5.0% ABV and 19 IBUs. Both are out now in cans or for fills at Spindrift’s two locations, with Toller Red also seeing distribution through the NSLC in the coming weeks.
Spryfield’s Serpent Brewing has a few new and returning goodies this upcoming week. First up is their first Irish Red, being released tomorrow (Sept. 3). Their take on the style, it uses Red-X malt to deliver the di rigueur toasty and caramel notes. Can-conditioned this one will be available for taproom pours or to-go. Tuesday (Sept. 6) will see the release of Long Lake Lager, their take on a Czech-style lager using Pilsner malt with a touch of crystal malt, and a lager yeast propagated from their friends at Church Brewing. This one will be on tap and available to-go in cans. Finally, this week also saw the return of their Farmhouse Cider, The Bite. This batch is slightly different, with the saison yeast they used leading to a drier cider with some tart and funky notes and a 5% ABV. It’s available now at the brewery on tap and in cans.
Sticking with cidery news, Sydney’s Breton Brewing and Island Folk Cider House have teamed up once again to create Moxie Graf, a co-fermented apple juice beer. Graf is a style of beverage with 9,000 (!) year-old origins, that involves blending apple juice with beer wort and then fermenting with an ale yeast. The name is a homage to Moxham Castle, the creepy castle in downtown Sydney that was destroyed by fire in the 1960s. Expect a crisp drinking experience with notes of baked apple and caramel. Moxie Graf is available now at the Breton and Island Folk taprooms, and for delivery via Breton’s online store.
Does it feel like Fall to you? It was certainly cooler in Halifax this morning, but we wouldn’t go so far as to hasten the coming of the Autumn season when there’s officially three weeks left of Summer and hopefully even more weeks of patio beer viability yet to come. That said, though some will celebrate while others shake their fists in scorn, the first of the region’s harbingers of Fall is here, and it’s a two-fer: Upstreet now has both their Gravedigger Pumpkin Ale and their Libra Pumpkin Spice available as of yesterday. Gravedigger has been a stalwart since Upstreet’s first year, we believe, and features a deep copper color and aromas of pumpkin pie in a 6.5% package. It’s little sibling, as with all Libra brands, is a low-alcohol brew at 0.4% ABV and aromas of cinnamon and nutmeg. Look for these wherever you usually buy your Upstreet and/or your Libra.
Speaking of Libra, Kyle and Tony (or is it Tony and Kyle?) from the 902 BrewCast sat down with Mike Hogan (“Hogie”) of Upstreet and Libra to talk about the Libra brand, how it came to be, and how it’s doing in the market along with some discussion about no-/low-alcohol beers and Upstreet in general. You can check it out on your favorite podcast app or get it directly from the source. (Pumpkin beer haters worry not, we have reason to believe that this was recorded a little while ago and should be free of any gourdian content).
And speaking of Fall, that’s when the world’s largest celebration of beer takes place, in Germany and across the world: Oktoberfest! To celebrate their own Oktoberfest being held at the Beer Garden on the Waterfront (Sept 23 – Oct 2), Garrison has released their Hefe Weizen this week. Leveraging a bit of Aussie Cascade in this Wheat- and Yeast-driven brew, it features a touch of clove spice and banana on the nose and palate, perfect for enjoying a Maß or three. Cans and pints are available now at their Seaport and Oxford locations.
This week’s Newfoundland content comes to us from Boomstick Brewing in Corner Brook who partnered with music industry and community group Music NL to bring you Every Inch a Sailor, a blood orange and tangerine sour with a name that’s sure to resonate not only with Newfoundlanders, but with anyone who’s lived in Atlantic Canada for very long (or grew up listening to Sharon, Lois, & Bram and/or Fred Penner). Pretty much what it says on the tin, this is a kettle sour to which the team added blood orange and tangerine, producing a beer that is, “bright, light, and drinkable!” Surely one to enjoy while you’re doing some toe tappin’ to the strains of some Newfoundland music. Look for this one packaged in cans at the brewery, the Ultramar next store, and at Humber NLC. And don’t forget Music NL’s Music Celebration Week 2022 coming in late October to Corner Brook!
After a couple of years off (I wonder why??), the Nova Scotia Craft Beer Festival is back! Presented by the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia, which represents breweries from all across the province, 40 breweries from Yarmouth to Sydney, Amherst to Sheet Harbour, will be putting their best foot, and beer, forward, September 16 and 17 on the Halifax Waterfront. Taking place at the Salter Block at 1521 Lower Water Street, this outdoor event will have something for everyone into well-made local beer, plus live music and DJ sets, axe throwing, and with the new ticketing system, the ability to exit and grab food from the Salt Yard vendors next door. There are three sessions (Friday evening, and Saturday afternoon and evening), and we are looking to give away a pair of tickets to the session of your choosing! All you need to do is post a picture, video, reel, whatever you prefer, of the NS craft beer you’re enjoying this weekend on Instagram, and be sure to tag the brewery, us, and CBANS (@ACBeerBlog and @NSCraftBrewers). No limit to those entries, but be sure that we can see it and share! We will do a random draw Tuesday at 9 AM. But for those of you who may not win, please be sure to grab your tickets soon to avoid missing out!
Ending off the week with a job posting, for those looking to join, or supplement, their Career in Beer. Lower Sackville’s TAPestry Beer Bar is looking for a beer slinger to join their ranks in a weekend part-time position (with more shifts as biz increases). A love of beer (hey, if you’re reading this, you’re already part way there) and preferably with some industry experience already, are key to success. Drop by the bar at 833 Sackville Drive to drop your resume and chat with Ian and the gang.